Some things can never be replaced. If a loved one has died due to the negligence of another, the last thing you may want to think about is a lawsuit. We realize that the legal system cannot begin to replace what you have lost.
However, there are practical steps to be taken to provide for family members left behind. Minnesota law provides for claims for the economic losses suffered as a result of a loved one’s death, claims for the loss of “comfort and society,” and, in limited situations, claims for punitive damages.
Causes Of Wrongful Deaths
- Automobile accident
- Semi-truck accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Premises liability
- Construction accident
- Medical malpractice (including surgeries, prescription medicines or medical equipment failure)
- Product defect / failure
In Minnesota, wrongful death actions are covered by the Minnesota Wrongful Death Act, Minn. Stat. §573. This statute provides for the following damages in death claims: 1. Pecuniary loss suffered by the spouse and next of kin; 2. Funeral expenses; 3. Child and spousal support expenses owed by the decedent prior to death; 4. Punitive damages in certain circumstances. Family members also have a claim for the loss of advice, care, comfort, assistance and protection that the victim provided.
In order to bring a wrongful death claim, a trustee must be named by the court. Minnesota General Rules of Practice §144 apply to actions for wrongful death in the Minnesota Courts. Under Rule §144.01, an application for the appointment of a trustee for the wrongful death claim must be made by the verified petition of the surviving spouse or one of the next of kin of the decedent. The petition needs to list the dates and places of decedent’s birth and death; the decedent’s address at the time of death; the name, age and address of the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, parents, grandparents, and siblings; and the name, age, occupation and address of the proposed trustee. The petition is filed with the court and the claim is then brought in the name of the trustee on behalf of all of the heirs and next of kin of the deceased.
Upon the conclusion of the case a petition must be filed with the court for the distribution of the proceeds of the wrongful death claim pursuant to Minnesota General Rule of Practice §144.05. The petition lists the recovery, disbursements, fees and costs, funeral expenses, demands for support, names and addresses of each surviving kin and the share of the recovery each next of kin is entitled to.
The attorneys at the Meshbesher Law Firm have successfully handled numerous wrongful death claims and realize the unique character of each case. We treat the surviving family in a manner that respects their often-overwhelming loss and grief. At the same time, we deal with the defendant and insurer in a way that will ensure that the family is fully compensated. Painful as it is, time is often of the essence. It is important to contact a Minnesota wrongful death attorney promptly so that the details of investigation and preservation of evidence can be effectively handled.
Contact The Wrongful Death Attorneys Of Minnesota’s Meshbesher Law Firm
To contact one of our experienced Minneapolis wrongful death attorneys, call us at 612-349-5215. You can also e-mail us your contact information. The Meshbesher Law Firm works on a one-third contingency fee basis on wrongful death claims. If we cannot get you a recovery, you do not owe us for the time we spend working on your case.